Information Services - Statistical Reports

Student Exclusions 2000 - 2001

September 2003

Dear Friends:

I am pleased to issue our annual report, Student Exclusions in Massachusetts Public Schools: 2000-01. This report provides information regarding student exclusions, defined as the removal of a student from school for disciplinary reasons for more than ten consecutive school days, including permanent or indefinite removals. This information will be useful to the legislature, the Governor, and the Board of Education as they continue to address the issues of student discipline and school safety.

The Education Reform Act of 1993 and subsequent amendments authorize school principals, rather than school committees, to expel students who carry weapons or illegal drugs to school, assault school personnel, or are convicted of a felony while off school grounds.

Summary of Key Findings

In school year 2000-01, there were 1,621 student exclusions, an increase of 15 percent from the 1,412 exclusions in the prior year. In comparison to the total student enrollment, a disproportionate number of minority students were excluded from school. Approximately 45 percent of all exclusions involved either a student with an illegal substance or a weapon on school premises. Seventy-one percent of all students who were excluded from school were provided with alternative education.

The exclusion rate, instances of exclusion per 1000 students enrolled, varied among school districts. Of the 371 districts and charter schools in 2000-01, 127 districts, or 34 percent, excluded students from school.

We appreciate the efforts that school districts are making to ensure safe and orderly school environments and to provide serious learning opportunities for all students. If you have any questions or suggestions about the report, please contact:

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Information Services and Technology
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148
(781) 338-3607


David P. Driscoll
Commissioner of Education